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Diabet Med. 2016 Jul;33(7):976-84. doi: 10.1111/dme.12992. Epub 2015 Nov 17.

Successful maintenance on sulphonylurea therapy and low diabetes complication rates in a HNF1A-MODY cohort.

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Department of Diabetes & Endocrinology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Department of Molecular Genetics, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK.
Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Science, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK.



HNF1A gene mutations are the most common cause of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) in the UK. Persons with HNF1A-MODY display sensitivity to sulphonylurea therapy; however, the long-term efficacy is not established. There is limited literature as to the prevalence of micro- and macrovascular complications in this unique cohort. The aim of this study was to determine the natural progression and clinical management of HNF1A-MODY diabetes in a dedicated MODY clinic.


Sixty patients with HNF1A-MODY and a cohort of 60 BMI-, age-, ethnicity- and diabetes duration-matched patients with Type 1 diabetes mellitus participated in the study. All patients were phenotyped in detail. Clinical follow-up of the HNF1A-MODY cohort occurred on a bi-annual basis.


Following a genetic diagnosis of MODY, the majority of the cohort treated with sulphonylurea therapy remained insulin independent at 84-month follow-up (80%). The HbA1c in the HNF1A-MODY group treated with sulphonylurea therapy alone improved significantly over the study period [from 49 (44-63) mmol/mol, 6.6 (6.2-7.9)% to 41 (31-50) mmol/mol, 5.9 (5-6.7)%; P = 0.003]. The rate of retinopathy was significantly lower than that noted in the Type 1 diabetes mellitus group (13.6 vs. 50%; P = 0.0001).There was also a lower rate of microalbuminuria and cardiovascular disease in the HNF1A-MODY group compared with the Type 1 diabetes mellitus group.


This study demonstrates that the majority of patients with HNF1A-MODY can be maintained successfully on sulphonylurea therapy with good glycaemic control. We note a significantly lower rate of micro- and macrovascular complications than reported previously. The use of appropriate therapy at early stages of the disorder may decrease the incidence of complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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